“While you can’t control your experiences, you can control your explanations.”― Martin E.P. Seligman, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
We want things to be different but are unwilling to change. When we shift our energy and effort from trying to change other people and circumstances, we can focus on the only thing we can change – ME.
Studies have shown that optimism and gratitude improve our health including preventing chronic disease, improving our immune system, reducing stress and increasing life longevity.
And, yes it can be difficult to be optimistic when other people are pessimistic, complaining, gossiping and chirping. But with attention and practice, you can strengthen your optimism muscles and be healthier and happier. A worthy pursuit to be sure.
In her article How to Be Optimistic When the World Around You Isn’t, Amy Morin, LCSW offers a few suggestions:
- Optimism is a choice – turn your mindset around and think positive thoughts;
- Decide to be optimistic – it’s a daily decision, start each day reading, thinking and saying positive things. Force it until it takes hold;
- Avoid positive energy vampires – boundaries and limits on toxic people and the news;
- Recognize your negative thoughts – catch yourself in the act, reframe and flip it;
- Bestow positivity on others – share positive feedback with others – BONUS – it returns to you!;
- Imagine a positive future – dream big;
- Practice gratitude – an instant boost of optimism.
There is no risk, only reward in becoming optimistic. Changing your perspective, old stories and explanations = happier life.